Suspicious beard terrorist poster parody imitates life

Mr Atrocity says:
Picture 3-94Last week, like many others, I contributed a satirical take on the Metropolitan Police's barmy new poster campaign to the boingboing thread on the subject. I tried to think of the daftest thing I could with which to prove the point that the whole campaign was on the silly side. I chose beards. This is my poster: Link

I found a comment on the image this morning from this poor gentleman linking to his story about actually being stopped under the 2000 Terrorism Act for having, it would seem, a suspicious beard: Link

Once again, the authorities prove themselves madder than anything we can conceive of in jest. Run to the hills, people.


  1. Clearly, ZZ Top is also no longer welcome in the U.K. It’s their loss – who will now tell them which girls have legs (and know how to use them)? Who!?

  2. That beard is seriously lame. That’s the kind of beard someone lets grow because they think it makes them look distinctive or something, but it makes them look like a poseur.

  3. I’m not sure that the problem is with the obnoxious paranoid citizen (heaven knows that 10% or so of people are suspicious of anybody different than themselves), but with the officer who pursued the arrest despite no evidence of wrongdoing.

    Those nutcases who think that the Muslims have taken over Britain must have quite an explanation for stories like this.

    Since when is one’s appearance grounds for arrest?

  4. #4: the only person I know well who looks like that is a crazed meth biker. He’s definitely distinctive…

  5. always has been. Started with vagrancy laws and evolved over the years into a specialized variant for every jurisdiction. We need them. Consider the realities of human nature and the social roles of criminal, citizen, cop and judge. We also need to fight such laws tooth and nail at every turn. Somewhere in the tortured dynamic, we have “justice”.

  6. I could understand if it was a sinister mustache, but a bushy beard?
    Also: If beards are outlawed only blah blah blah.

  7. Well, I’m not really surprised. I do occasionally see young men with those types of long, untrimmed beards – and all of them are Muslims, and presumably fundamentalist Muslims (not cutting the beard is a belief in some fundamentalist circles – in fact, the Taliban outlawed shaving or trimming beards – but not even the Saudis are that fundamentalist). I think it’s pretty well established that young men with those types of beards are likely to be Muslim fundamentalists. Of course, being a Muslim fundamentalist is not the same as being a terrorist or jihadi. While I would grant that men with those types of beards are more likely to be terrorists than the average guy on the street, it’s still pretty unlikely. One can hardly be surprised that some people would be alarmed seeing him, though.

    > Since when is one’s appearance grounds for arrest?

    He wasn’t arrested. Hence, you have no basis for that statement. He was stopped and talked to in order to determine if he was a threat. Maybe that’s an unnecessary hassle, but it’s not “one’s appearance [is] grounds for arrest”.

    Related links:
    British Officials stop James Hetfield (of Metallica) for having a “Taliban-like beard.” (July 2007)

    “They (Taliban) jail for 45 days those people who shave their beards in addition to awarding seven lashes to those who trim their beard,” the Afghan refugee said.”

    “The rules prescribe 10 days in jail for trimming or shaving beard,” said the head of the Taliban’s most feared organ.”

  8. @Brit, I know several “young men” with untrimmed beards that are definitely not Muslim. They’re bikers. Christian bikers. And no, Gilbert, they don’t do meth. Not a chance.

  9. Soon they will be arresting visiting French women. . . for having “suspicious beards in their armpits.”

    Whether or not terrorists or Muslims or leprechauns wear beards is moot– the 9/11 hijackers flaunted Muslim laws when they were preparing for their final mission, they even drank alcohol. When you make the mistake of “looking for the suspicious beard” you only play into the hands of the crafty terrorist who KNOWS that in the west the long beard is suspicious, and dyes his hair blond and straps his bomb beneath a gaudy Hawaiian shirt.

    Yes, he wasn’t arrested (thank Allah), so I guess the Brit police are doing a reasonable job, but if I reported a “suspicious Hawaiian shirt” they would have laughed at me.

  10. Don’t laugh too soon. Facial recognition software is good and getting frighteningly good, but in the interests of your safety, beards will eventually be banned

  11. WHY, it’s eric the viking from that hot baltimore metal band DACTYL. all the hip kids are diggin’ that sound.

  12. I haven’t shaved my beard in 3 years now, and I usually get profiled as Amish first, then Orthodox Jew (in Phoenix, AZ). This is while I’m wearing geeky shirts and a watch, and a cell phone, and PDA, etc.

    Profiling doesn’t work. Not shaving doesn’t make me a meth addict/fundamentalist/biker/anything else.

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